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Postgraduate Certificate in Education - PGCE - Primary (QTS)

What makes Primary PGCE at Worcester special?

At Worcester we were born to teach. The institution was founded in 1947 as a teacher training college with a mission to ‘win the peace through education’.

Few sights are as rewarding as that of the curious young mind in pursuit of knowledge, and few careers combine excellent professional prospects with the opportunity to inspire in others a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

At Worcester, our PGCE in primary education is led by experienced academic staff with extensive research profiles, meaning your learning is shaped by those helping to shape education itself. With a range of career-enhancing subject specialisms for you to choose from, and personalised support that is tailored to meet your needs, you have the ideal environment to hone your skills as an inspiring and innovative teacher.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education is an internationally respected route in to a career in teaching, but it is also the start of a journey like no other.

Key features

  • Worcester is one of the country's leading providers of teaching training, with an excellent reputation in this area
  • With 60 credits at Masters level and a strong international reputation, a PGCE is a great career choice
  • Our Pedagogy & Professional Practice element explores wider issues of education and society, enhancing your prospects as a future leader in the profession
  • Our PGCE gives you the option to take the PGCE Primary with Mathematics pathway and to become a Mathematics Specialist - this dual option is provided by only a handful of universities in the country
  • PE specialist is also a unique pathway choice when you apply to Worcester
  • Personalised support package that continues beyond your study and in to the early stages of your career, helping you to identify your development needs and excel as a teacher

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • An honours degree of 2:2 or above
  • Grade C at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science (or equivalent) passed at the time of application. A minimum of 5-10 days experience, within the last 12 months, in maintained Primary Schools , Early Years and Nursery settings
  • Department for Education Professional Skills tests in English and Mathematics must be passed prior to entry. For further details visit the Professional Skills Test page.
  • For Mathematics Specialism – a degree /A level in Mathematics

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice by email:

All applications for PGCE Primary should be made via the UCAS Teacher Training website.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.

Skills tests

All applicants for teacher training courses need to take the numeracy and literacy professional skills tests as part of the application process. You will need to ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.

The first attempt at taking your skills tests in each subject is provided free of charge. You can book up to two resits if required, but you will be expected to pay for this yourself. The pass mark depends on the difficulty of the test. Please note that after your third attempt you cannot retake for 24 months. Once you have passed the skills tests they are valid for three years from the date passed.

You must take the tests after you have applied and you will need to provide evidence of your application when you attend the test centre. When you take the tests you will need to provide proof that you have applied for a teacher training course. At interview we will ask you to provide proof that you have booked the skills tests.

If you are made an offer after interview part of your conditions will be to pass the tests and a time frame will be indicated. We do however advise that you try and take the tests before your interview date, or as soon after your interview as possible, as this will enable us to make a firm offer.

For more information visit the National College for Teaching and Leadership website or why not register for one of our ‘Skills Tests Workshop’ dates?

Saturday 5th December 2015
Tuesday 16th February 2016
Saturday 14th May 2016

To book a place, or for further information. please email Jane Sacree: Please note: Those attending the workshop must have accepted a place at the University of Worcester.

You may also find this book a useful resource to help in your planning and preparation for the tests.

The PGCE course was great, my favourite module was PE. The module was fun and it gave me confidence to teach sports.

Faye Rogerson, Trainee

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Indicative course overview

What will you study?

School experience is a substantial and integral part of the course and you will have school experience visit days and block placements in terms 1, 2 and 3.

In total, of the 38 weeks of the course, 24 will be spent in schools.

Indicative course content for 2016-17, subject to adaptation:

Pedagogy and Professional Practice

Indicative overview of content

Covers a wide range of the knowledge, skills and understanding required to become an effective self evaluating practitioner, including how children learn, what impacts on pupil learning and progress and learning and teaching styles.

Subject Specialist Research

Indicative overview of content

A small-scale school based enquiry in a subject in which you already have degree level/A level qualifications or significant experience

Core subjects and Computing

Indicative overview of content

English, mathematics, science and computing subject knowledge and pedagogy

Foundation Subjects and SEND

Indicative overview of content

Art, D&T, geography, history, languages, music, PE, RE, SEND subject knowledge and pedagogy

School Experience

Indicative overview of content

24 weeks (120 days) in schools and settings.

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

You will learn how to:

  • Apply theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of how children learn and develop in classroom settings;
  • Manage different patterns of organisation and styles of teaching to best support effective learning and provide equality of opportunity for all children;
  • Develop an understanding of Special Educational Needs and Disability through the application of inclusive teaching practices;
  • Develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and teaching competences which will enable you to observe, plan, teach, organise and assess children’s progress and learning across the full range of the Primary and Early Years curriculum subjects;
  • Develop a clear framework for your own professional values and demonstrate a critical and reflective attitude towards your practice;
  • Build on your Undergraduate research skills to become a trainee-researcher by undertaking a small scale school based research project in your Primary Subject Specialism

Teaching approach

  • School experience in a range of settings
  • Studying all areas of learning and teaching across all EYFS and Primary National Curriculum subjects
  • Tutor-led workshops, lectures, seminars, fieldwork and guest lectures , primarily to introduce underpinning knowledge, theoretical argument, practical skills, central issues, key texts and inter-professional fields of study;
  • Study of key texts and supplementary reading to enable students to identify subject matter that will enhance their understanding and intellectual ability;
  • Participation in high level professional discussion, peer presentations and debate, to encourage trainees to actively engage with and critically challenge the field
  • Directed studies, Professional Enquiry Tasks, case studies and problem solving tasks provide opportunities to develop approaches that will deepen levels of understanding and professional judgement; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements.
  • One-to-one academic and personal tutorial support including access to our first class Firstpoint services.


In addition to subject assignments, subject profiles and individual subject assessment tasks, you will engage in a range of assessments during school experience, all of which combine as components towards your final award.

You will be involved in assessing your teaching skills and competence as they develop through the use of a Reflective Portfolio to which students, teachers and tutors contribute.

At the end of your course you will be advised about your first year in teaching through the Career Entry and Development Profile, as part of your Continuing Professional Development.

Meet the team

Here are a few of the current members of the department who teach on this course:

  • genea-alexander-200

    Genea Alexander

    Genea is the PGCE Primary Course Leader and a Senior Lecturer in Education and has developed a keen drive to support adult learners to become the best they can be, as child educators. As part of a dedicated team, she has worked with both undergraduate and postgraduate trainees in her specialist areas of primary music, languages and professional studies.

    Genea has an active role in the management, supervision and support of trainee teachers and impact-focussed, is dedicated to promoting the best outcomes for all: pupils, trainee teachers and school partners alike. As a primary teacher with extensive experience, in age phases spanning nursery to year 6, she completed her MA, with a music education specialism and continues to research actively, as an academic.

  • derval-carey-jenkins-education-university-worcester

    Derval Carey-Jenkins

    Derval Carey-Jenkins is the School Direct: Primary Lead.

    Derval is a Principal Lecturer and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy within the Institute of Education. She joined the Institute in January 2009.

    Derval graduated with a Bachelor of Education from St Marys’ College, Queen’s University, Belfast and began her teaching career as a primary school teacher in 1986. She worked for 23 years in a variety of schools in East London and the West Midlands. Derval was a Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher and spent three years as an Advisory support teacher with the West Midlands Education Service for Travelling Children.


Where could it take you?


There is a high employment rate for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) from the course. Upon successful completion of the PGCE course, you take with you a Career Entry Profile to start the process of your continuing professional development as a teacher.

  • Case study

    Joss McLeod

    Enrolling at university is a life-changing decision for anyone, but for Joss McLeod it was a decision that would affect her whole family.

    Read Joss's story.


Request or download a prospectus

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How much will it cost?

Tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard annual fee for UK and EU students enrolling on the PGCE in 2016 is £9,000 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard annual fee for international (non-EU) students enrolling on the PGCE in 2015 is £11,120 per year. Tuition fees for international students enrolling in 2016 are yet to be confirmed.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Financial support

Financial incentives for those who train in 2016/17

Please see:


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls, 358 of which were new in 2009. We offer halls of residence to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £89 per week to the £145 per week 'En-suite Extra'.

For full details visit our accommodation page.


How do you apply?

Applying for the PGCE Primary Course:

PGCE Early Years Core - UCAS/TT code X124

PGCE Primary Core - UCAS/TT code X104

PGCE Primary with Mathematics - UCAS/TT code 2RP4

PGCE Primary Physical Education Specialist - UCAS/TT code 2RP6

All applications are through the UCAS teacher training system:

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions Office

For general enquiries pertaining to PGCE course application
01905 855111